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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  November 5, 2012 6:30pm-6:59pm EST

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>> pelley: tonight, close to the end. just hours before election day, polls show a virtual tie. >> that's why i need your vote! >> every single voter. get them out! >> pelley: election eve reports from jan crawford, nancy cordes, bob schieffer and john dickerson. a week after the storm folks are so desperate for heat they're burning furniture. >> it's very cold and they need to keep warm somehow. >> pelley: reports from jim axelrod and seth doane. and remember all that anger on the gas lines? >> i'm yelling? >> pelley: ben tracy found one place that's old-fashioned friendly. >> lots of people need the gas. we'll pump it for them. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley.
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>> pelley: good evening, two years, $2 billion. now it's your turn. the long, expensive presidential race is down to its final hours. national polls show that it's dead even, but in the few swing states that could tip the balance tomorrow night president obama has a slight advantage over mitt romney. in ohio, a university of cincinnati poll shows the president ahead 50% to 49%. in florida, a recent poll has him ahead by just two points. in wisconsin, the president leads by three points. in iowa, the "des moines register" shows mr. obama up five points. and the colorado poll has him ahead by two points. our campaign 2012 team is covering. first we're going to go to nancy cordes with the president tonight. nancy? >> pelley: scott, after 100 rallies, the president holds his final one here in d.e.m. moyne tonight for two reasons: first, because iowa is one of the
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battleground states the campaign feels most confident about winning and second because, in many ways, this is the state that first catapulted him towards the president swi that upset win in the iowa caucuses five years ago. >> hello, colorado! hello, wisconsin! hello, ohio! >> pelley: president obama has spent the past 48 hours in seven states, three time zones. >> are you fired up? >> reporter: surrendering sleep and his voice in pursuit of a second time. >> this is not just a choice between two candidates and two parties, it's a choice between two different visions of america. it's a choice between the return to the top-down economic policies that crashed our economy or a vision that says we've got to build a strong foundation based on a strong and growing middle-class. (cheers and applause) an opportunity for everybody, not just some. >> reporter: in these final frantic days, he's been embraced by bill clinton, in new
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hampshire, serenaded by bruce springsteen in madison and stevie wonder in cincinnati. today mr. obama had this message for supporters who may have lost some faith over the past four years. >> so you know where i stand. you know what i believe. you know i tell the truth. and you know that i'll fight for you and your families every single day as hard as i know how. you know that about me. (cheers and applause) >> reporter: a top aide tells me that over the past few days the president has grown visibly more relaxed as he slides from rally to rally on air force one, first because he's very confident in the outcome but also because he knows that no matter what happens tomorrow, scott, this is the last race he'll ever run. >> pelley: confidence, maybe, nancy, but they can read the polls, too. just have a look at the president's travel schedule today alone. barn storming three of those swing states that we've been
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talking about. plus his home state of illinois. mitt romney worked four swing states today as well to try to make up for those paper-thin deficits. jan crawford has been with him at every stop and, jan, where are you now? >> reporter: well, scott we're here at columbus,, ohio. over the weekend i was talking with one of his senior advisors and i said "what do you have planned in these final days?" and he had a one-word answer and he said "praying." he laughed and said it with a smile but it reflected the underlying tension and uncertain any a race that could not be any closer. >> if you believe we can do better and if you believe america should be on a better course and if you're tired of being tired then i ask you to vote and work for real change. >> reporter: with the campaign in its final hours, romney's hitting four tossup states today after a weekend of crisscrossing the country as he tries to close out the race with the win. >> this is much more than our moment, it's america's moment of
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renewal and purpose and optimism and we've journeyed far and wide in this great campaign for america's future and now we're almost home. one final push is going to get us there. >> reporter: romney is still expressing confidence, but in ohio yesterday he acknowledged with a touch of humor the chance the president could win. >> if the president were to be reelected -- (boos) -- it's possible but not likely. (laughter) >> reporter: the strain of the campaign is showing, especially on ann romney who says she was emotional as she looked back. >> it really is humbling, it's very touching. >> reporter: and as they took in a large crowd at a colorado rally this weekend, both romneys seem to recognize the hard fought race was nearing an end. now, this race, though, is not over yet. from here romney flies tonight to new hampshire, that, of course, is the state where he kicked off his campaign for a final rally and tomorrow on
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election day he is right back here in ohio and then off to pennsylvania, that's the state once considered safe for the president but, scott, in this tight race anything could happen and that, too, could be up for grabs. >> pelley: one thing that might happen, jan, is a nor'easter that is headed to the state of florida tomorrow. the storm is packing rain and winds up to 55 miles an hour. on wednesday it's expected to hit new york and new jersey which are still trying to recover from hurricane sandy. some of the victims of that storm will vote tomorrow at temporary polling stations. bob schieffer is our chief washington correspondent and anchor of "face the nation." bob, what are you looking for this this tight race tomorrow? >> well, i'll tell you, scott, we talked to the top people in both campaigns today and this may come as a surprise but both sides are flat out predicting not just wins but big wins. the obama people say they feel good about the early voting in most of the key battleground states.
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they feel very good about iowa and nevada. they think they're ahead by a little there florida. and they may be right. but republicans tend to do better at getting their voters out on election day, so they can turn all that around and the romney people are arguing that the enthusiasm and the intensity they're seeing at their rallies will make that happen. i have to say, when you clear away all the spin, it is coming down to one thing: turnout. which side gets their voters to the polls tomorrow? and just to add that one note of suspense to all of that: it's that storm heading toward florida tonight. >> pelley: bob, thank you very much. as you know, under our constitution we don't vote directly for a presidential candidate, we are choosing electors for each of the candidates. each state has many as electors has it has members of congress and the senate. it takes 270 of those electors to win and our political
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director john dickerson is here to show us how each candidate could reach that number. john? >> scott, all 50 states contribute electoral votes to that 270 number. but cbs news estimates that 41 of those states that traditionally go either to a republican or democrat are likely to go into one of the two columns. that that leaves those nine battleground states, the big prizes up tomorrow. if you tabulate the states that traditionally go to the democrats, that would be california and states like new york, president obama starts with 237 electoral votes. governor romney starts with 1919 electoral votes from states like texas and georgia that traditionally vote for the republicans. if you look at the easiest path for the president, because he had 237 at that start he has more pathways to that magical 270. his easiest path would be if he were to win florida. that would mean he would only have to win one of the remaining eight battleground states to get to 27 0.
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governor romney has a tougher path. if he were to win florida and then also to win ohio and virginia and north carolina that's four of the biggest states, that would still only get him to 266 electoral votes. he'd need one of the remaining five battleground states, scott, to get to 270. >> pelley: john, thank you. john, bob, norah o'donnell and our entire campaign 2012 team will bring you election night coverage beginning the moment the first polls close tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. eastern time. a week ago tonight hurricane sandy crashed ashore. we learned today that the death toll is up to 119 in nine states. more than a million homes and businesses are without power and in new york 40,000 people lost their homes. last night, the temperature dropped below 40 degrees and you might be surprised at what jim axelrod found today. >> reporter: they're breaking up furniture for firewood on staten
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island. >> it's very cold and they need to keep going somehow so i'm glad the fire department isn't coming to put the fire out. >> reporter: desperate moms are standing online in queens. >> you want some ice? >> reporter: hoping the donated food doesn't run out. >> it's hard, you know? because you don't want your baby to go hungry. >> reporter: all over the city, the powerful are getting an earful. >> you've got to be kidding me! where were you yesterday? >> reporter: help is now poring into new york and new jersey. marines have landed in staten island. 280 state troopers from eight states were sworn in to help in new jersey, including 50 from the mississippi highway patrol. more than a thousand utility crews from as far away as california and canada are being staged at city field, home to the new york mets. >> we're in hand-to-hand combat. we are just going block to block putting up facilities that have been damaged by those winds and/or the floods.
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>> reporter: john miksad is in charge of power restoration for new york's largest electric company. con ed has restored power to 800,000 customers but have 150,000 to go before a coastal storm sweeps in midweek. >> it may slow down the troops that are out there doing restoration. >> reporter: on new jersey's long beach island, homeowners were finally allowed to check the damage. >> the bottom fell out so we were just lucky that the house is still standing. we had seen pictures of the house so we knew it had been badly damaged but it's still seeing it is painful. >> reporter: and the gas lines could get worse. scott, that nor'easter could also knock out power to some of the pumps that have just been restored. >> pelley: jim, we were struck today by the cover of this week's new york magazine. it's an aerial foe show showing most of lower manhattan blacked out last wednesday.
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now, nearly all of the power is back now, but seth doane found not in the borough of staten island. >> everything starting just coming through. started coming in through the back, these windows, those windows, pouring over the sink. >> you've got your kids in your arms just trying to get out the door? what was going through your mind? >> please don't let me drop my kids. don't let me drop my kids. >> reporter: danielle valitutto spent every night since sandy sleeping here. at least her kids-- destiny and c.i.a. ya-- are staying with her brother in maryland. >> sandy took everything else, i'm not giving her my home. >> reporter: her house is close to her job which she cannot afford to give up. floodwater filled the first floor. volunteers have helped strip out everything, including the the soggy dry wall. >> this is my living room. emptied out, gutted, no ceiling. it's freezing in here. sometimes i put my lighter up to my hands to try to stay warm. >> reporter: she's had to leave her windows open to dry out the
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place. upstairs, she can lock herself in. how do you stay warm at night? >> blankets, blankets, i have the clothes over there, just throwing anything on top of me that's possible. >> reporter: last night, her flashlight barely pierce it had darkness. her street was filled with unfamiliar shadows. her neighbor burglarized twice. valitutto's car is a refuge, but gas is hard to come by so turning on the heater is a short-lived luxury. >> if we didn't have looters i would feel more comfortable. but you can't even feel comfortable because you got people coming and trying to rob whatever you have left. >> reporter: her waitress job provides a little heat and a glimmer of hope. >> my head is not all here. my head is everywhere else. but i have to work. i need the income coming in so at least i can find a place to stay until the house is ready. >> reporter: valitutto met with representatives from fema today who told her it would be another
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seven to ten days before they determined whether she would be eligible for two months of temporary housing. scott, she told us she didn't know what she'd do after that. >> pelley: seth, thank you. in one battleground state it is a door-to-door fight for votes. the american soldier charged with murdering afghan civilians goes before a military tribunal. and when pumping gas means pumping gas. whether the "cbs evening news" continues. copd makes it hard to breathe, but with advair, i'm breathing better. so now i can be in the scene. advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications, advair contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator
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fever, fatigue, cough, or sores. you should not start humira if you have any kind of infection. get headed in a new direction. with humira, remission is possible. >> pelley: the latest poll in virginia shows that the presidential race there is a virtual tie. president obama's one-point lead-- 48% to 47%-- is well within the margin of error. which means every voter behind every door counts. and here's wyatt andrews. >> reporter: if you live in virginia, the race for president has become a race to the front door. a ground game sprint by both campaigns to knock on hundreds of thousands of doors. >> hi, how are you? >> to plead with their own supporters to show up on election day. >> we give you one of our brochures? >> reporter: we watched romney volunteer mackie kris ten son in
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leesburg, virginia. >> you're not just a romney voter, we want you to vote. >> we know it's so close, we listen to the polls. >> reporter: nearby, in gainesville, virginia, obama volunteers linda legarde and taylor tuckerman were urging the president's supporters not to get distracted or forget to vote if they're supporting the president anyway, what's the point? >> the point is to remind them that their vote counts. their vote could be the one that flips it for our side. their vote can be the one that helps make a difference. >> the in-person visit did make a difference to obama voter stephanie torres. >> i think it gives it a personal touch. i think it does solidify your own decisions. >> reporter: every step taken by these volunteers is science. >> i would encourage your support for barack obama. >> reporter: the campaigns, after making millions of phone calls, already know who has voted early so they know with house by house precision where their likely voters remain.
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>> do they have a plan to vote? >> reporter: that precision means door knockers are given maps showing not just who who to contact but the most efficient way to walk there. >> it tells us where to start, where to end. >> one of us takes one side of the street, the other takes the other. >> reporter: this one leesburg neighborhood is so up for grabs. >> the mitt romney campaign. >> reporter: most of the voters like zach gelnet, a romney supporter, have been visited three or four times. how many phone calls? how many door knocks? >> i get a ton, especially on my home office phone. i must get six or seven a day. >> reporter: but both campaigns now believe virginia will be decided by the better ground game. after the candidates spent $86 million here on ad time and hundreds of hours in campaign time virginia is still up for grabs. wyatt andrews, leesburg,
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virginia. >> pelley: that meningitis outbreak has taken another life. it's spread to more than a third of the states with 409 cases reporting. the latest fatality brings the death toll to 30. the latest fatality brings the death toll to 30. a notorious mobster out of the hospital. that story coming up. your runny nose. [ sighs ] thank you! [ male announcer ] you're welcome. that's the cold truth! and it gave me my custom number. my arches needed more support until i got my number at the free dr. scholl's foot mapping center. i'm a believer! and you will be too! learn where to find your number at it's eb. want to give your family the very best in taste, freshness, and nutrition? it's eb. eggland's best. better taste. better nutrition. better eggs.
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starts with arthritis pain and a choice. take tylenol or take aleve, the #1 recommended pain reliever by orthopedic doctors. just two aleve can keep pain away all day. back to the news. >> pelley: it was a particularly bloody day in syria's civil war today. the assad dictatorship sent warplanes to bomb a town near the turkish border.
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human rights groups say at least 159 people were killed. this is one of the most violent days in months. the assad family has ruled the country for four decades. they're out to crush a rebellion that began with peaceful protests 19 months ago. at a military court hearing in washington state today prosecutors said they have what they call chilling evidence against staff sergeant robert bales. he's accused of the pre-meditated murder of 16 civilians in southern afghanistan, most of the victims women and children. the prosecutors say bales carried out one attack, then returned to his base before heading out to attack a second village. notorious boston mobster james "whitey" bulger, who spent 17 years in hiding before he was arrested last year, is in the hospital. the 83-year-old former leader of the winter hill gang is awaiting trial for 19 murders. he was taken from prison yesterday complaining of chest
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>> pelley: finally tonight, it's gotten plenty tense on those long gasoline lines in new york and new jersey but ben tracy found a station where even after
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the hurricane it's still service with a smile. a smile and a very strong arm. >> reporter: in this gas line, there are no wheels, just feet. >> this is the only can we have. >> reporter: they come with their hands full and wait as long as three hours. >> right around here, this is the best line around. >> reporter: because in this line, no profanity, just patience. >> take your time. >> reporter: after the storm, richie dodd could have closed like other stations did but he told his wife dotty he had another idea. >> he said "people need me, dotty." i said "richie, how do you do that?" he said "i have help." >> reporter: help in the form of a hand pump. >> this here pump is like a 1948 pump. >> reporter: hi connected a copper pipe and drove it into his underground tank. in four days, dodd's crew has cranked out 30,000 gallons. >> you have to do it for these
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people. people have to get their generators going. >> reporter: generators are the only source of light and heat around here so a can is the hottest accessory in town. scott caldwell showed up with five of them. >> i have three little ones at home so anything i can do to keep the house warm and keep them fed i'm willing to do. >> $63. >> reporter: tracey didn't care how much it cost. >> i just said richie, how much? i'll write you a check. >> reporter: but the dodds did not gouge their neighbors. >> that would never be richie dodd. that would never be richie dodd. those prices would never change. what it is; it is. >> reporter: on this corner, compassion is managed by the gallon. >> as long as the people need the gas, we'll pump it for them. >> reporter: ben tracy, cbs news rumson, new jersey. >> pelley: and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, good night.
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11/05/12 this is 9news now. >> tracking the noreaster. massive storm targeting the east coast as the victims of super storm sandy are continuing their clean up. and just hoping for the best. i'm here with topper shutt. >> it may be insult to injury. the question is where is the track going to be? some models have it going out to sea and missing us. still hitting northern new jersey and long island. wednesday morning commute is going to be dry regardless of the track. we're confident about that. the evening commute could be wet. still miss us. it could give us a glance in blow. if


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